The Essential Guide to Growing Orchids in the Tropics


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Notify me. Description The beauty and the diversity of orchids that thrive in the tropics are unparalleled.


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And with the right guidance, these wonders of nature are not at all difficult to grow. In this first book specifically written for orchid-lovers in tropical regions right around the world, you will find a wealth of practical advice on how to achieve healthy, free-flowering orchids with long-lasting blooms. First-time growers will find the step-by-step instructions on basic orchid care invaluable, while more experienced hobbyists will benefit from the expert tips on propagation and the control of pests and diseases.

An A-Z listing of the most popular orchid genera and their growing requirements will help you choose the right plants for your locale - whether you are in the tropical highlands or lowlands, and whether you have a sunny garden or a shady balcony. Combining over stunning photographs with the latest in scientific research, this book is an indispensable guide to the wonderful, complex and endlessly rewarding world of orchids.

Rating details. Book ratings by Goodreads. Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X. Having so many different types of orchids makes it difficult to give general advice on plant care, but the most common home-grown orchids are hybrid types, and therefore the advice on this article will be based on this type of orchid.

Understanding their life cycle and knowing how to best look after your new plant friend will help you to keep them blooming and delighting your home for years! There are six stages: seed production, germination, seed formation, maturation, flowering, and reproduction. Varying the colors of these plants, orchid breeders are able to create the most beautiful creations. It can take up to two years for an orchid seed to germinate and finally develop into its own, unique plant. This energy is taken from the leaves, which may cause some of them to first turn yellow, then die and fall off.

The roots are important for the plant to gain nutrients, which it needs to produce more flowers and to grow. The flower of an orchid normally blooms for several months, and during this time the flower can be pollinated again. The life cycle, re-blooming, and duration of flowering all depend on several factors, some of which you have control over as the owner and caretaker of this unique plant! If you want to keep your orchid happy and make sure it re-blooms, you need to keep the light conditions and humidity levels optimal for the orchid.

From when you first bring your orchid home, you should start creating an optimized environment for your new friend to grow in. Do not place your orchid under direct sunlight even for a few hours, as orchids are very sensitive to getting burned. Indirect sunlight simply means that the light is filtered by for example bouncing off a wall or filtered through an object before reaching the plant.

If you are unsure whether the place you have chosen has enough sunlight or too much, you can test it out using your hand. During midday, when the sun is at its highest and brightest, place your hand a few inches above the plant, so that you cast a shadow over it.

Because orchids originate from rain forests, some people think they need lots of humidity and frequent, heavy watering. However, this is simply not the case, and in fact, the most common way people harm their orchids is by over-watering. If the plant gets watered too often and is not able to absorb all the water at the pace it is being poured, this will cause the soil to get too wet.

If the plant sits in wet conditions for too long, the roots will start to rot and your lovely orchid may die a wet death. If your orchid is planted straight into a pot with soil, this might not work as you cannot drain excess water off. Using clean water distilled, or boiled and cooled down , fill the clear orchid pot so that the roots are submerged in water.

Depending on the time of the year and where your orchid is placed, use this method approximately once a week. Using ice cubes is an easy and effective watering method, plus it is a great way to avoid over watering your plant. This method also improves water absorption, as the water is provided to the plant in small, consistent portions. Simply pop an ice cube on top of the soil, beneath the leaves of the orchid and let your plant drink!

Just be mindful that there is no excess water left — if you see any water pooling, just pour it off. Depending on the weather conditions, give your plant one or two ice cubes a week one at a time. This might sound like the easy and obvious choice, but now that you know how damaging over-watering can be you might wish to reconsider.

Pouring can be an effective way to keep your plants happy, as long as you are mindful of not drowning your plant. If your plant sits in one pot with the soil, and there are no drainage holes, you are best off under watering rather than over watering. You can always add more water to the pot, but without any drainage opportunities you cannot get water out. The first thing to know is that fertilizer is not a magic potion that will save a half-rotten orchid from the depths of despair.

In fact, if your orchid is poorly, fertilizer is unlikely to make the situation any better but could make it even worse.

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For orchids, the recommended fertilizer contains equal amounts of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Experts recommend using fertilizer once a month or once every fortnight after the orchids blooms have dropped and you wish to trigger re-blooming. Be careful not to let it touch the plant, as it may cause damage to leaves — fertilizer should only ever be applied straight on to the soil.

You may think of this time as a sort of a hibernation period — your plant is resting to get the energy to bloom again. Although you should be patient and respect this period of rest, there are things you can do to help your little flower friend to blossom again. During this resting period, you may start noticing tiny new buds growing on the flower spike of your plant.

You can also remove the whole spike, thus allowing the orchid to use more of its energy on growing the roots and leaves. Another important thing you can do to help your orchid is to pay attention to the temperature of the environment it lives in. Now that you know the optimal way to provide your plant friend with ideal lighting, how to water it, and how to encourage reblooming, you are ready to take on the wonderful challenge of growing an orchid!

Although this might sound like hard work, it will definitely be worth it, and with the right kind of love and care, you will have a decorative pal for life! How To Water Orchids — Currently having about 28, species and distributed in approximately genera, orchids are one of the most exotic-looking flower species in the whole plant kingdom. They are distinguishable and have some evident characteristics that include having highly modified petals, a temporary woody structure, fused stamens, and very small seeds. The most common and easiest type of orchid to grow is a Phalaenopsis.

When it comes to something as sensitive as plants, knowing the basics and following a guide is your best option. Orchids are delicate, and they need better drainage and airflow to grow rather than piles of soil. A potting mix able to offer good circulation, slow decomposition rate, swift drainage, and good moisture-retaining capabilities is the one best suited for your orchid. The medium that would provide your plant with water needs to be the best, so you should experiment and take your time before choosing the right combination.

Luckily, there are a few signs that can help you to determine the right time for re-potting your orchids:. Like every other plant, orchids give away some obvious signs of their health which you should know how to read.

The plant will eventually get weak over time, so your attention and proper care are what will extend its lifetime. Establish a care routine that involves knowing when to re-pot, add fertilizer, let it rest, and how to water your orchid correctly. We have already discussed potting and resting of an orchid is simply a period to let it rejuvenated. However, when it comes to watering your orchid, there are a few details you should keep in mind, especially about how you should water your orchids. Remember, the key to the best method of watering your orchid is to learn to read its roots and look for the signs of its current condition.

Even though orchids are houseplants, unlike most of them they need to be watered only when they begin to dry out but still have a bit of moisture left. It is also essential to know about the type of orchid you have because some orchids have storing-organs. The climate and potting mix are some of the factors that can help you to know about watering your orchids. You can also make sure by sticking a finger carefully into the potting mix and check for moisture. In a warmer temperature or in a place where the orchid gets too much sun, it would need to be watered more frequently than the one in a cooler temperature.

One of the best ways to water your orchids is to let the water run carefully from the faucet over your plant. Use a pot that has drainage holes because the roots will rot if you let the orchid sit for too long in the water. Apart from conventional watering, another way to keep your orchids healthy in the hot, humid weather is misting. You now know how to water orchids properly, but you should also be aware of the best practices to water an orchid plant. Using small to medium ice cubes, you can pop around three medium ice cubes on top of the potting mix.

Also, fill the holding pot in which the container will sit with water so that the roots are fully submerged. Now remove the plant after 10 to 15 minutes and make sure that you fill the water just under the crown of the orchid. Allow the plant to drain for about five minutes while pouring out the remaining water from the pot. So, when it comes to watering your orchids, keep in mind to avoid these common watering mistakes.

Always use a drain pot while watering your orchids and be aware that the plant should be dry enough with little to no moisture between watering. Watering at night allows it to stagnate in the growing tips of the plant which encourages the growth of bacterial and fungal diseases. Watering early in the morning will increase the chances of water evaporation from the crown and foliage by nighttime. Watch out for deposits forming on your plant and flush out excess mineral salts, saturate the growing medium with water once a month.

It is important that you take these factors into account in order to provide your orchids with the best possible environment to grow. This factor not only influences the watering routine but also determines the amount your plant needs. Some have good water retaining capabilities, while others have better circulation and drainage properties. How to Repot an Orchid — Orchids belong to the Orchidaceae family and have more than known types and more than , hybrid species.

The main difference between orchid types can be seen in the size, color, and weight, and the actual differences can be extreme. Although orchids were once grown only by specialty hobbyists, they are very common in many homes today. Repotting the orchid can be a bit scary for some gardeners since that is the time when orchids are the most vulnerable and susceptible to diseases.


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At first, one of the most important things is to decide when to repot an orchid, since timing is critical, and there are two ways to determine if the orchid needs repotting. For example, if you have an orchid that produces pseudo bulbs, it should be repotted right after flowering and before its roots begin to appear.

Also, if you notice that some of the roots are rotting, and feel soggy, it is definitely repotting time. The other sign might be if you see more than one or two roots growing over the pot, which means that your orchid has overgrown its pot and needs more space. Another great tip is to never repot an orchid unless it really needs repotting since you might easily shorten its lifespan and affect its growing cycle. Repotting terrestrials in soil is one of the mistakes that many people make with their first orchid. However, a combination of sphagnum moss, charcoal, coconut husks, and fir bark will go well with most types of orchids.

If, on the other hand, you have a terrestrial orchid, you will need a soil that retains water well and has a high concentration of wood matter and perlite. This is crucial because if the new pot is too big, the orchid will use its energy mostly on root growth, instead of growing flowers, which will have a big impact on the flowering process. The material of the pot should be plastic, clay, ceramic, or glass, and it should have drainage holes, otherwise, the roots will rot.

Some orchids also have roots that can photosynthesize, so in that case, you should find a glass pot. First, you should measure the potting material that you will need, then put it into the container, so that it fills about half of it. However, to prepare the potting soil mix material , you should first soak it in water and let it soak overnight. After you have put the potting soil mix in the container, you should fill the container to the top with hot water.

All the water should be drained from the mix as much as is possible, and then the warm water should be run over the mix to rinse out any possible dust it will have. If some of the roots are stuck, it is imperative to use clean equipment, such as scissors, since orchids are very prone to various diseases. If you have used that pot before for other plants, you should sterilize it with boiling water to kill all the potential bacteria. When the new pot is completely clean, and all of the necessary materials are prepared, it is time for repotting the orchid.

However, make sure and double-check that you have done all the previous steps correctly since orchids are very susceptible to diseases and are prone to withering if not cared well. You should put it in a certain way so that the old growth of the orchid goes to the bottom, and the new growth towards the sides, so that it will have more space to grow and spread. It might be easier to add the potting mix little by little so that you will be sure there are no air pockets in the mix when the orchid is repotted. Continue taking care of your orchid as you did before, and place it in a spot with the optimal temperature level that orchid needs to grow.

At first, you should create the right environment, since this is by far the most important factor for orchid growth. If you only have a window that is facing west, you should cover it with a curtain to prevent your orchid from getting burned. It might not be important in a colder period of the year when you can just open a window, but it is imperative to have proper air circulation during hot periods, like summer. It is crucial not to water them continually, but only just before they go dry, usually every few days.

The best way to check if they are dry is to stick a finger or two into the potting container, then pull out and rub together. While the orchids are flowering, they should be fertilized once a month, with a balanced liquid fertilizer, mixed at half-strength. At some point, you might notice that scale, or insects, appear on the orchid, which you should remove by hand. The soapy water will kill all the remaining insects and probably even remove stickiness on the leaves.

If the problem occurs again, you should spray the orchid with an insecticide; however, be sure to buy an insecticide that is safe for orchids. For example, if you notice discolored leaves or spots, most probably your orchid is suffering from some disease. Pseudobulbs are one of the most known orchid infections, which might cause brown rot, black rot, and dark spots on leaves. However, once you do it a few times, it will become pretty straightforward, and you will be able to repeat the process each time you get a new orchid.

They are easy to care for as long as you understand the orchid species you have chosen and follow a few simple rules. In this article we are going to get down to the roots of just how to care for your orchid and also give you some tips and techniques you can use to ensure that your orchid grows big and healthy, so that you can take advantage of the beautiful blooms and magnificent fragrances that come along with any orchid type you choose.

Table of Contents

Though the final care routine will depend on the orchid itself, there are a few basic rules to follow that are universal. Therefore, though there are a few types of orchids that are challenging, for the most part, orchids are great flowers to begin your gardening foray. If you do it right, you could very easily be experiencing your first bloom faster than you may expect. Then with consistent upkeep of your routine, you may be able to enjoy that bloom for months some even bloom all year long. The first thing we need to tell you is that you do not have to water these plants as much as most think.

Too much water can cause the orchids to rot and then in no time you will have one dead plant on your hands. When you are growing your first orchid, you may notice that the orchid tends to live in a clear container with soil or bark surrounding it. You will want to make sure to place the spout of your watering vessel near the base of the plant and not on the plant itself.

You will want to pour about a fourth of a cup of water once a week to maintain a good watering level. Using liquid food, you want to make sure you are super careful, just like if you are watering via pouring. Do not pour over the leaves; use a watering can that has a narrow opening and only pour the food near the base of the root into the soil. If you feed the plants this way, you will not need to water it, and then with the next watering, you will want to try to remove any remaining salt from the fertilizer. This is simply using the diluted mixture you would pour over the soil and freezing it in cube form.


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There are ways you can create humidity, but when dealing with indoor growing, the easiest is probably using a spray bottle and misting. You will not want to use tap water, instead use distilled so that you do not add any stray nutrients and minerals. You will want to lightly spray not only the roots but also the leaves approximately two times a day.

Once the orchid has flowered, the blooms will drop off and die, and this is when pruning comes into play. However, if the stem is brown and super hard, then this guy needs to be removed as soon as possible. The right light can mean the difference between a stunted orchid and one that blooms into its fullest glory. So, you will want to make sure that your orchid is in the right place for optimal light exposure.

Usually, in this case, the light is bounced off a wall or something to diffuse the intensity of the light. So, make sure that your orchid is placed somewhere it will never meet direct sunlight or light in general. You may have to switch up your watering routine during the warmer months as the roots may dry out quicker. If the soil is still damp, there is no need to water, and if it is dry, then your little orchid may be a bit thirsty. As for the optimal place to set your orchid, you want to choose a room in your house that stays constant in temp away from too strong of an airflow where it will only receive indirect light.

You can figure out if a place must be intense of light by simply holding your hand in the light at the hottest part of the day as close to the window place you are looking to house your order. So, when looking for the right fertilizer, make sure you are getting the one that will be most effective for orchids. You will find many established orchid growers using clear pots so that they can always see the roots of the plant. The clear construction of these pots helps in the photosynthesis process, and that will help your orchids grow faster and healthier.

You will want to find a pot that just fits the size of the roots and gets the orchid attached to whatever you are taking it as soon as possible. Some will require lower temps, and these are the ones found living in the high elevations and mountainous areas of each of the continents. Others that live in tropical climates will react much better to warmer temps so when deciding which orchid go with make sure you consider your environment and the climate of where you will be planting your orchid.

Orchids are very easily affected by bacteria and bugs. If you notice something is wrong here are some things you can do to help with a sick orchid. These tips and techniques are just some of the ways you can use to ensure you get the best results from your orchid. By following a few easy rules and systems, you can manage to cultivate a beautiful orchid that will give you tons of enjoyment and make you proud of the work you put in to grow it. Every orchid has its own unique aspects you need to focus on, and by learning as much as you can about that genus, you will be able to understand how to care for your orchid.

The presence of fresh flowers in a house not only adds character and beauty to your home but also gives that extra scent of freshness. For lovers of orchids, there remains fear whether they can have those beautiful flowers in their homes with cats running around.

After all, you do not want your cat dying on you or you having to run to the veterinary care center daily. Want to know if orchids are poisonous to cats or if you can really trust your kitties to be safe around orchids? Read on. Although some flowers are entirely safe to have in the house around a cat, others are quite harmful to a feline.

What I mean is that when cats eat flowers, they might experience stomach upsets which could require veterinary care; people, therefore, assume that some flowers, orchids included, are harmful to kitties. This is contrary to information released by the American Society for the Prevention and Cruelty of Animals , which states that after due research, orchids have been found to be non-toxic to cats. Despite the fact that your cats and orchids can co-habit in the same living space or house, there remain some other reasons why you need to separate them.

Cats, you must have noticed already from the beginning of this article, are drawn to flowers, which is why they tend to nibble on them repeatedly. Your cats can still eat your flowers or destroy them, bearing in mind that these orchids are meant to add character, fragrance, and beauty. However, this cannot be possible if they are crushed, or half-eaten, which is why you should find a way to keep your cats away from your flowers. You can either decide to completely place your orchid plant completely out of the reach of your cat.

First, you can decide to dedicate a section of your house to plants, always keep the door shut, and this would help keep your cat away from the orchid plant. The loophole with this method is that your visitors do not get to see your beautiful flowers when they come into your home, except when they visit this separate section for your plants. A more house-aesthetic, friendly option is to dust your orchids leaves with cinnamon or cayenne pepper. Another option similar to that of cayenne pepper and cinnamon powder is to make use of vinegar and water spray. Vinegar and water spray also serves as a good kitty repellent and is easier than all the previously mentioned methods.

Your cats are perfectly safe in your house with orchids around. Instead, the victim here, is the orchid plant, a casualty of constant attack, or you might say nibbling by the cat. As mentioned, a vinegar and water spray, cayenne pepper or cinnamon powder when sprayed or dusted on your orchid plant helps to repel the cat, preserving their beauty and fragrance. So spray your orchid today or place it separately and thank me later as they remain safe from your feline friends.

Did you know that an estimate of 42 million households in the U. Perhaps you share similar concerns about saving your hard-earned dollars, eating pesticide-free food and doing things that are better for the environment. And these days, even if you live in a small apartment or in a townhouse with a small yard, a tiny indoor greenhouse can satisfy all your needs. These days, even organic food can have certain types of pesticides and herbicides sprayed on them. Because so many industrial farms have depleted soils, our store-bought produce has limited vitamins and minerals. And mini greenhouses create the perfect environment to start nearly anything from seed.

You can get away with making fewer trips to the grocery store and even reduce the impact of fuel-powered machinery harvesting your veggies. As all plants give out plenty of fresh oxygen, having a mini indoor greenhouse can take out the toxins from the air in your apartment or house and freshen it up. They have their own mechanisms to maintain the temperature, thus allowing plants to grow throughout the year. Read about our ideas on making stylish greenhouses indoor in this article here.

Maybe you can add a few indoor decor elements like dry flowers and sculptures plus a couple of chairs to make the greenhouse a true heaven. Now that you know all the great reasons to own a mini indoor greenhouse, you can get started with designing one. For a more functional one, you could setup seed trays and LED lights in a plastic enclosure.

Here are our top tips and tricks to install the perfect greenhouse for your needs indoor:. You can choose from biodegradable ones to those that have partitions and coverings to lock in moisture. Let the water absorb through the bottom of the tray for about 30 minutes until the soil or seed starters are moist to the touch.

There are a lot of different types of pots out there what can enhance the beauty of your greenhouse. Choosing the right soil for your mini indoor greenhouse can have a profound effect on your plant. Seed plugs make it easier to transfer the seedlings from the greenhouse to the ground without damaging its roots. Once your soil or seed starters are moist, follow the instructions on the seed packet to sow your seeds. Once your seeds are sown, use a mister bottle to moisten the surface if the top of the soil feels dry.

Make sure you put the mini greenhouse in a place that receives plenty of bright but indirect sunlight. Also, you will want to monitor the temperature to ensure it stays between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit within the greenhouse walls. If you constantly lock your indoor greenhouse, you may want to monitor how much of moisture accumulates inside. Whenever the surface of the soil dries out, add water to the drip tray to allow the water to soak up through the bottom of the soil. Watering this way also prevents fungus from growing on the small leaves which can happen if the seedlings are too damp.

To avoid replanting shock, take a scoopful of the soil with the seedling and add it to the mixed soil in the new pot in which you intend to plant it. Maybe your green thumb will shine through and you will discover a long-lasting and fruitful literally! Learn more about gardening supplies for greenhouses here. Not only do they provide clean air, fresh food and moisture, but they are also a pleasure to look at and give our eyes much needed relaxation.

Plants with minimal watering needs can even be used as artistic hanging decorations from ceiling. Choosing the right seeds and ensuring there is sufficient ventilation and heating ensures your plants grow well within the greenhouse. Children usually love to get their hands dirty in gardening pursuits and can learn a lot from taking care of plants. Mini indoor greenhouses can satisfy needs of hobby farmers and beginner gardeners by giving you an oasis of nature in the heart of your own home.

Read about the varieties of plants and tips and tricks to growing produce in mini indoor greenhouses in our article here. Shelving provides more space by giving you extra surfaces for growing plants, small seedling pots, seed starter trays and other essential equipment. Having an overview of the different sections your greenhouse will give you better ideas to maximize space. They should not crowd each other nor block the sun. Certain leafy vegetables can spread out quickly. Plants that prefer dark places can be kept under shelves or at the bottom of the greenhouse on the floor.

You can also install shade cloths to block excess light. Read about choosing shade cloths here. If a certain plant has a short life span, you can plan for another plant in its place a few weeks in advance. Knowing the crop cycle and harvesting period can help you plan which plants to grow during different times of the year in the same spot. You can arrange for wires hanging from different ends of the greenhouse and clip together seed packets and washcloths with large pegs. A rich green wall full of vines and creepers is not just aesthetically soothing, its also a great way to maximize space in a small indoor greenhouse.

Sometimes, it can even make more sense to install vertical cabinets instead of horizontal ones and vice versa. Shelves should not be too high or way at the back of the greenhouse, blocked by benches, in a way that you will not be able to observe your plants. Rolling carts are a great addition to small indoor greenhouses as they provide space to keep the plants along with the versatility of movement.

You can move them in and out as you like if the space inside your mini greenhouse gets too crowded. You can also change their location easily during different seasons so that the plants in them get maximum light, heat and attention. Quick tip: You can also consider using old toys with wheels too for planting veggies! If the thought of setting up a greenhouse with so many specifications gets a bit too overwhelming for you, small indoor greenhouse kits are available for help. The trick to maintaining the space you created for your greenhouse is to constantly declutter it.

Check expiry dates of your products and remove them from the shelves if they do not serve any purpose. Small greenhouses serve the purpose of saving space and having just a limited set of plants, which in turn helps you to give more attention to the existing plants. In apartments and small homes where spacing is already a concern, a small indoor greenhouse can be a life saver! Installing shelving, portable racks, hanging baskets and wall hooks can also increase the planting area in a tiny greenhouse. Even recycling ladders, old toys and kitchen cabinets for your greenhouse can save space and money.

Lighting and ventilation are two core areas to be concerned about when setting up indoor greenhouses. This problem can be mitigated by planning your crops in advance according to their life cycles. A greenhouse is a closed structure that provides a controlled environment to plants. Dive in for a quick information download on choosing the perfect greenhouse in our article here. The orchid family Orchidaceae has various sub species with over 22, of them growing in different environments.

These perennials come in all colors of the rainbow and have been used extensively in making perfumes and colognes. Orchids are also believed to cure lung disease, fertility troubles and provide strength to men according to certain cultures. This flavoring ingredient comes from the vanilla orchid and has been one of the most profitable members of the orchid family. The roots of orchids need to breath and cannot be water logged at any time, or they will rot immediately.

Do not permanently keep orchids in decorative pots as they almost never provide the drainage necessary. Generally speaking, orchids should be re-potted no more than once a year, and in some cases, only once every two or three years. Different species of orchids thrive on different soils, and depending on the plant you choose, you may need anything from bark to peat soil to lava rocks. As a general rule of thumb, plants with fewer or leathery leaves will prefer high light environments. If the leaves feel hot to the touch, the plant is getting too much direct light and would benefit from a shadier location.

On the flip side, if the leaves are an extremely dark green, the plant is not getting enough light and should be moved to a more sun-lit location. It is natural to want to water your orchid frequently, but over watering is a top mistake many new growers make. Plastic pots dry faster than clay ones; and the type of soil you plant your orchid in will also affect the watering schedule. Proper orchid care guidelines say that you should only water when the soil is completely drained.

Orchids can go many days without water and prefer to be under watered than over watered at any time. An easy way to check this is to keep the plant identification stick that most store-bought plants come with. Be sure to check the mixing strength of the particular fertilizer you choose to ensure a healthy mix. You will see the fruits of your labor in beautiful blossoms and take delight in the aromas they exude. Take a look at some of the best plants you can grow in greenhouses along with orchids here. When growing orchids, you can set up greenhouses based on two categories — based on function and based on temperature.

They are usually low maintenance and can easily be used to propagate seeds and grow starter plants. Orchids can do well in them if you are serious about taking your gardening skills to the next level. For orchids, you want a cheap greenhouse that can maintain 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit at daytime and 45 to 65 degrees at nighttime. When constructing greenhouses for orchids, there are many ways you can save money by using materials of different makes and functions.

These are the outer covering materials which determine how much light will penetrate the greenhouse. A cheap option with ample protection. You can apply for rebates and discounts from the USDA in certain energy efficient upgrades and programs. Building a bigger greenhouse now is cheaper than adding an extension later or building a new one altogether to accommodate more orchids. Your greenhouse will also be within your sight, which will help you to remember to water the plants.

You may position the concrete slab at a sloping angle to act as drainage and prevent water stagnation. An oasis of orchids in a small garden lined with bird cages, grills and benches is a sight to soak in. Setting up greenhouses for orchids are one of the great ways to grow these beauties all year around. Greenhouse kits give you options to install a greenhouse without outside help in a span of a few hours. As these flowers do not require constant sun , they can easily be placed at the bottom racks of your greenhouse as well, thereby optimizing space.

With due care, orchids can give you great joy and a full pocket, all while adding to the aesthetic value of your home. Updated: September 18th, Orchid Blooming Guide — One of the most beloved and popular members of the flower family is the beautiful, exotic orchid. Growing orchids is not as difficult as some people make it seem. How difficult the plant is to maintain also depends on the variety of the orchid you have. There are some terrestrial species, but most species prefer to be off the ground.

They can be found growing attached to other plants, such as on the branch of a tree. The reason orchids do not like soil is their unique roots. The orchid family really is one of the most versatile in the world! Sadly, many Native American orchid species are endangered. Therefore, if you find them in the wild, you should never pluck them off the ground. Some even rescue wild orchids if their habitat is in danger. Different Types of Orchids As there are over 28, different species of orchids, there is a wide variety in the types of orchids you may find.

The largest orchid is the Grammatophyllum speciosum, also called the Queen of Orchids. It definitely deserves the crown. Are Orchids Difficult to Grow Indoors? There is a myth that orchids are very fragile and require extreme efforts to keep alive. Orchids do require certain conditions to thrive and blossom. The Root of the Problem So after finding out that orchids can survive in extreme conditions, you might be wondering why they have gained a reputation as the diva of the plant world.

The most common problem that new orchid owners usually have is understanding the roots. We are used to seeing plants that thrive with their roots buried deep in the soil. Therefore, it can be confusing to see the weird grayish-white roots coming off to the surface. Although tempted, you should never cut the roots!

Happy roots equal happy plants. The other common mistake growers make is over watering their plants. This means the roots are left to sit in wet soil, and will most likely start to rot. This can cause the plant to wilt and die. But they require a bit more careful handling than some plants. Especially for a plant lover, keeping orchids is definitely worth the effort. Just make sure you choose an easy variety, to begin with. Some species are slightly easier to take care of, and thus well suited for beginners. A plant in this stage is easier to take care of than one that is in a resting stage.

Plus, you get to enjoy the gorgeous flower right away! If the orchid is happy where it is, there is no need to change its environment. The Life Cycle of an Orchid — The First Stages Although orchids are such unique plants, their life cycle does not differ much from that of an ordinary flower.

For a seed to grow into an orchid, it can take up to two years. Then it may take anywhere from 9 to 14 months for an orchid to complete a full life cycle. The first stage of the cycle is pollination. It will take between 6 to 8 months for the seed pods to fully mature. During this stage, the plant needs a lot of extra energy to develop the seeds. This means some leaves may die and fall off. Those new to owning orchids may get worried when they see leaves turning yellow and falling off. But this is only a sign that your plant is healthy and ready to reproduce.

It usually takes about 3 months for an orchid to flower after developing seed pods. With some careful planning and effort, it is possible to have orchids blooming all year round. For this to succeed, you need to do your research on the types of orchids to buy. This way, you may always have at least one orchid in full blossom. How to Get Orchids to Bloom?

This is not as tricky as it may sound. You need to be consistent with watering — once a week usually does the trick. The most common mistake people make with their orchid is over watering. Although orchids grow in the tropics, they need a lot less water than you may think. If you see any excess water pooling on top of the soil, try to get rid of it gently. If the soil is too wet, the roots may easily rot and kill your beautiful plant. Although this is a common and usually effective method, it may not be best suited for orchids.

With pouring, you need to know the correct amount of water your plant needs. Some safer methods are submerging or using ice cubes. Let the plant drain for an extra 5 minutes to make sure no excess water is left in the pot. This method should be used once a week. To bloom, your orchid needs a lot of indirect sunlight. An easy way to test if the lighting is ideal is the shadow test. Can you only barely see a shadow?

No shadow or a very light shadow indicates there is not enough light. A dark, almost black shadow indicates that the light is too direct. A soft grey shadow is ideal. Too much direct sunlight can give your plant a burn, even in only a few hours. The first one is temperature. Different orchid species thrive in slightly different temperatures. Most house plants will be comfortable at this temperature.

A slightly colder night will help to trigger your orchid to rebloom. Another trick you can use to stimulate reblooming is using fertilizer. Did you know Charles Darwin wrote a book about fertilizing orchids? This tells us a bit about the importance of fertilizing your beloved plant. One of the reasons orchids require fertilization much more than other house plants is its roots. This is how most terrestrial plants absorb their nutrients.

The plant then absorbs these nutrients. We usually plant them into a mixture of bark and moss, maybe some gravel. Orchids require a lot of nutrients, and this environment is not able to provide it. This is why fertilizer is essential, especially when your plant is about to rebloom, as this requires extra energy When to Fertilize Your Orchids and How? Most experts agree that fertilizing once every two weeks is enough. Sometimes even once a month can do the trick. You might want to use a small, narrow-spouted pitcher to do this. Make sure no extra fertilizer is left to pool on the pot — drain the pot if needed.

Keep in mind that you should not water your orchids in the weeks that you fertilize it. After your orchid has bloomed and dropped its flowers, it may look a little bit sad. The leaves might be turning yellow and falling off. This is normal; it just means your plant is saving up energy for its next blooming. Other than that, there is not much you can do but wait for a rebloom. If your orchid is wilting, however, or turning completely yellow, you may have an issue. Sometimes orchids can droop, and this can cause owners to become concerned. The drooping may well be completely normal.

If your orchid is turning red, you should be a little worried. Move your orchid somewhere else, and keep a close eye on it. Orchids are sensitive to direct sunlight and can quickly get burned, even in a couple of hours. Do the shadow test with your hand — the optimal light should produce a soft, grey shadow.

Sadly, some even throw their lovely plant away at this point. The stem may be shriveled and turn gray or brown, but this is completely normal. The leaves may lose their brightness and start looking dull or flat. Although this stage of the life cycle may look bad, it is completely normal. Nothing in nature blooms all year round, and your orchid is no exception. You just need to be patient. However, sometimes orchids do die, just like any other plant.

This may be due to lack of proper care, such as over- or under watering, or lack of fertilizer. This can end up killing the plant. Guide to Orchid Blooming So … Are you ready for the challenge? But first, what is an orchid? And why is it so infatuating? What is an Orchid? So, as you see, the orchid is not only beautiful but helpful as well. They exist in every corner of the world that can sustain life.

These different types will vary in everything from size to color to weight. Here are some of the genera and a little look at their unique beauty. Angraecum Within this type of orchid, you will find over different species. They will all bear the same star shape and are sometimes called the Comet Orchid. One of the most well-known members of this family is the Christmas Orchid. This type of orchid and most of its sub-species comes from Madagascar or Africa. These orchids tend to have a small to medium flower and come in a few different colors.

Most of these orchids are white, but you can also find them in yellow or even light green. The nighttime fragrance of these orchids is quite enchanting. Their care is easy as well. They look good either potted or hanging. Brassavola This orchid also goes by the name the Lady-of-the-Night Orchid and for a good reason. The scent it produces at night smells of a citrus base and is quite fragrant. This is important as the scent is meant to attract the moths needed to pollinate the flower. This orchid type is one that is primarily found in the wild in Central and South America.

They are prominent in places like Mexico, Peru, and even grow wild in the Caribbean. Their beautiful flower is small but stunning. They are easy to care for as are most of the orchid species. They like warmer temps and good exposure to light. They grow quite quickly and are best suited in humid climates. Catasetum This genus is one that offers a unisex flower. But first, let us look at the overall flower of this orchid.

The Catasetum in its unisex form usually has a white flower with a yellowish center. It is one of the orchids that lay dormant during the cold months. Cattleya The flower of this orchid is a multi-colored beauty. Phalaenopsis The male form of the Catasetum is also called the Moth Orchid. This variation comes in a wide range of vibrantly stunning colors. You can have versions of this orchid that range from yellow to a spotted burgundy. This orchid will bloom periodically throughout the year.

3 Essential Tips for Orchid Beginners

Cymbidium One of the colder climate breeds of orchid, the Cymbidium is native to the Himalayas. Unlike many of the other varieties of orchid, these have smaller and more petals. That may be why they have won so many awards. They are relatively long-lasting flowers and are easy to grow and maintain.

They really work well indoors and have a spectacular fragrance. These orchids have a more consolidated flower that resides at the top of the stem. Before we go into the details about each, let us finish our general overview. This orchid can come in many colors, from white to lavender.

This is an orchid that can survive anywhere, depending on the variety you get. In fact, there are varieties of this orchid that keep their growth year-round. Hard-Caned These Dendrobiums are tall and have pseudobulbs that are thinner than the others. The leaves of this orchid also are a bit darker green than the soft-caned version.

Soft-Caned The soft-cane variety still has the thin and long pseudobulbs, but their leaves are a lighter green. The blooms of this orchid bloom from the individual offshoot stems that line the cane. They lose their leaves yearly making them a deciduous plant. Each style of Dendrobium will need special care and a wholly different maintenance schedule. Epidendrum This genus has over 1, different varieties and is often called the Crucifix Orchids. The flowers vary in color and overall shape to some degree.

Native to Mexico these orchids are great for beginning horticulturists. They live for the light and, therefore, need a lot of good bright light to grow. Ludisia There are a lot of unique things about this orchid. The leaves are reddish-green, and they have an almost velvet feeling. This makes them a great indoor house plant. The flowers when they bloom are small and beautiful. The petals are usually white with a yellow center. Masdevallia These orchids have a unique flower and even colors, which make them an interesting orchid to grow.

The Masdevallia orchid grows in the mountain regions of Central and South America. They enjoy cool temps, which is why the high elevations of the mountainous regions are perfect. The cool temps mixed with the higher humidity is ideal for most varieties of this orchid.

There are a few that prefer less humidity than those mentioned above. Maxillaria This type of orchid houses within its family more than different species. This variety also has petals that range in sizes and height. The shape of the flower itself is consistent and has a triangular dynamic to them. The versatility of this variety is shown even more when you look at where they can grow. Odontoglossum This member of the orchid family has different varieties as well as some hybridizations as well.

These various members can vary in size, color, and even patterns. The orchid itself gets its name from two Greek words meaning tooth and tongue. These flowers will last for about a month and a half before dying. The flowers are fragrant and ruffled at the edges. They grow well in cool environments.

Oncidium This member of the orchid family is large and has multiple variations of flowers. The most common Oncidium orchid is called the Dancing Lady. This variety is easy to maintain and grow, so it makes it perfect for novice growers. There are many variations in color and fragrance, including one that smells like chocolate. The plant itself grows well in high humidity climates. If you notice deformed leaves, then you may need to add humidity to its growing location.

These orchids have large leaves, and the flowers are usually either yellow, white, or purple. This orchid is a winter flower and adds a lot to any garden. The flowers will last a long time well into spring. This orchid is one of the varieties that grow in soil and not the air. You will want a good amount of lights and very moist soil. Phragmipedium You may know these as Lady Slippers, but they are called Phragmipedium orchids. They tend to bloom in spring and may vary in color from green to mahogany. This is one of the orchids used the most in the creation of new strains.

The center petal of the bloom looks like a little shoe, hence the name. The other three petals are long and pointed with fluctuations in color throughout. These blooms like mild temps and high humidity. Psychopsis A member of the Oncidium family this subspecies house five branches from it. The Psychopsis, or Butterfly Orchid, comes in a beautiful variety of vibrant colors. Unlike many others, these vibrant colors are more autumnal colors like burgundy and bright gold. These orchids can also have green leaves and speckles. The form of the orchid has evolved to help the pollination process.

The orchid itself frequently blooms throughout the year and is quite easy to maintain. Vanda The Vanda orchid finds its native home in the humid climate of Southeast Asia. That is why this orchid flourishes with lots of light and heat and a good amount of humidity. The plant should be grown in a sturdy and larger growing space than many other orchid types. These blooms are simply elegant and great to add to bouquets and centerpieces.

Vanilla This orchid is exceptionally unique in that it only blooms for one day. To get to this point, it can take up to 3 years to achieve maturity enough to bloom. It opens in the morning and closes in the evening and will not bloom again for another days. In fact, vanilla can be procured from these flowers. This happens after pollination, where the orchids pod begins to develop. Zygopetalum This subset of the orchid family is relatively small and only encompasses 15 species. They require special care so they may not be great for newer gardeners.

This orchid works better with strong indirect light and mild temps. Coupling your climate with your experience, you will be able to narrow down the field. Good question. With excellent care and ideal conditions, orchids can last for years and years. Orchids, like all flowers, have a life cycle that includes several stages. The Life Cycle of an Orchid The life cycle of an orchid is similar to that of any other flower.

For producing flowers, the orchid needs energy. It normally takes around 3 months for an orchid to produce its first flowers. After the first blossoming, the young orchid will start growing roots. Typically orchids bloom every 8 to 10 months. Sunlight, water, and humidity are all key factors in keeping your orchid friend happy. Optimal Lighting for Your Orchid If you want to keep your orchid happy and make sure it re-blooms, you need to keep the light conditions and humidity levels optimal for the orchid. Place your orchid somewhere where it can get plenty of light.

This should ideally be an area where there is lots of indirect sunlight.

The Essential Guide to Growing Orchids in the Tropics The Essential Guide to Growing Orchids in the Tropics
The Essential Guide to Growing Orchids in the Tropics The Essential Guide to Growing Orchids in the Tropics
The Essential Guide to Growing Orchids in the Tropics The Essential Guide to Growing Orchids in the Tropics
The Essential Guide to Growing Orchids in the Tropics The Essential Guide to Growing Orchids in the Tropics
The Essential Guide to Growing Orchids in the Tropics The Essential Guide to Growing Orchids in the Tropics
The Essential Guide to Growing Orchids in the Tropics The Essential Guide to Growing Orchids in the Tropics
The Essential Guide to Growing Orchids in the Tropics The Essential Guide to Growing Orchids in the Tropics

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